Chapter 95

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Having Teshin by his side, alive, awake, with color returning to his face, felt pretty fucking incredible. Better than amrin. It gave Leithan this sense of replenished energy, of joy and overall faith that this world, this life, was okay after all.

Also, Kresh face down on the floor, hands behind his head, and Sunzar surveying him with her revolver – quite the satisfying sight.

Leithan had a light hand on Teshin's back as they moved into the room.

"Go get some water?" Leithan suggested.

Teshin gave a faint nod and trailed over to the kitchen counter, and to the rainwater cask below.

"What do we do about him?" Sunzar asked, motioning at Kresh.

"He'd tell someone the second we leave," Leithan said musingly.

"I won't," Kresh said quickly. "I swear."

"Liar," Leithan stated, on a bored tone. He addressed Sunzar again, "Give me a second."

He hurried back to the other room to scoop up the oil lamp they'd forgotten there. Then, with some illumination, it was easier for Leith to examine the klar shelves on the back wall.

They seemed untouched, mostly. Maybe Xefen had a fondness for amrin only, and not the other klar. Kind of the opposite of Teshin, then.

There was a brief, tense silence in the lamplit room as everyone looked at Leithan, wondering what he would do next. On the carpet underneath Kresh, some blood had dripped from his side, forming a blotchy stain.

Leithan drew out a case of lux vials. He turned to Tesh, who leaned against the counter, taking small, careful sips of his water.

"How many for him to pass out, do you think? Two?" Leithan asked.

Teshin's eyes glinted. "Belated payback? Good thinking, ani. Three for him, I think," Tesh added, eyeing Kresh's muscular back and broad shoulders.

"What are we doing?" Sunzar asked, still wielding the gun. Her arm trembled, like it was starting to tire.

Leithan didn't waste any more time. He kneeled beside Kresh and lined the three vials in front of him on the carpet.

"Drink," Leithan said. "Now."

"Please don't do this," Kresh protested.

"Why shouldn't I?" Leithan replied. "You had no problem doing it to me and my friends."

Kresh snarled at him, but he seemed too worried about the gun to try anything.

Leithan got back to his feet and told Sunzar, "Can you make sure he drinks all three of those? It won't kill him," he clarified, to reassure her. "Just put him to sleep for hours – the whole night, if we're lucky."

Sunzar nodded confidently, approaching Kresh. She pressed the gun's barrel to the back of his head.

"Just drink them, we don't have all night," she said, then sighed. "Leithan, translate for me?"

Amused, he did just that. Kresh grudgingly drank the lux, lifting his head to do so. Sunzar stayed close with the gun aimed at him the whole time.

While they waited, Leithan went to retrieve his sword. He fussed about a bit before finding a rag on the cold stove that didn't look dirty. Leithan used it to clean the blood off his blade, with caring manners. He realized Teshin had appeared beside him.

Once he was done, Leithan tossed away the rag and raised his sword, tilting it from side to side, the steel gleaming in the lamp's flickering light. Then, satisfied with how clean it looked, Leithan reversed his grip on the hilt, sword tip pointed down. He extended up his arm and sheathed the sword in one smooth motion.

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